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December 2011


http://spectator.org/archives/2011/12/12/why-is-newt-still-rising After Saturday night’s Iowa debate, I’d bet $10,000 that Mitt Romney has sunk himself. Well, I might if I had an extra $10,000 lying around, which I don’t. But after that debate, and more than a week of relentless attacks on him, why is Newt Gingrich still rising and Romney still sinking? Gingrich’s staying […]


An Invented People Posted By David Meir-Levi


On Friday, December 9, presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich was interviewed on cable TV’s The Jewish Channel, where he made the unexpected comment that the Palestinians are an invented people with no apparent right to their own state. His remarks, summarized in the Washington Post, were promptly condemned; but is he correct?

Let’s recall that Mr. Gingrich has an MA and PhD in History from Tulane University. In fact, history is quite clear on this issue. Mr. Gingrich is correct, and the first to say so was Daniel Pipes.

The name “Palestine” derives from the Philistines, who originated from the Eastern Mediterranean (perhaps Greece or Crete) and invaded the region in the eleventh and twelfth centuries B.C. Related to the Bronze Age Greeks, they spoke a language akin to Mycenaean Greek. Their area of habitation on the Eastern Mediterranean littoral became known as “Philistia.”

When Romans arrived a thousand years later they corrupted “Philistia” to “Palestina,” from whence “Palestine.” Six hundred years later, the Arab invaders corrupted “Palestina” to “Falastin.”

Throughout all subsequent history there was never a nation of “Palestine,” never a people known as the “Palestinians,” nor any notion of “historic Palestine.” The region remained under successive foreign rulers, from the Umayyads and Abbasids and Ayyubids to the Fatimids, Ottomans and British. During these millennia the term “Falastin” referred to an undefined geographical region, much like “Appalachia” or “the great Southwest” in modern U.S. geography.


If we can get through the last of the Pundit Primaries, the actual Republican voters can get on with the business of choosing the man to liberate America from Barack Obama. But the path to presidential power is strewn with little rocks who imagine they’re mighty boulders.
The “debates”—it’s an insult to the memory of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas to call them “debates”—are actually only occasions for television moderators to parse, preen and demonstrate how little actual wit and learning you need to pretend to knowledge of public affairs. The “debates,” with their emphasis on the unimportant, have taken the selection process away from the party without actually shaping either the race or the candidates.
The flickering television screen, which is all about illusion, is thus allowed to define what passes for reality. The candidates get their 15 minutes of fame, which isn’t much, but it’s all most of these worthies will ever see of presidential fame.

Forcing Washington to Live within Its Means: Marco Rubio

http://townhall.com/columnists/marcorubio/2011/12/13/forcing_washington_to_live_within_its_means/page/full/ Washington politicians do not live by the same rules that virtually all families and small businesses play by. It is your responsibility to balance your budget, spend no more than what’s in your bank account, and have a plan to manage common expenses like student, home and car loans. But in Washington, money is […]